Customs

British customs or traditions.

Stocking fillers?

Stocking fillers, books, about Britain

Someone remonstrated with me the other day, saying that I could do more to promote my books.  Being the sort of chap that always takes advice, I have consequently embarked upon a brazen, crass, plug of the most vulgar kind.  Buy one of my books!  No – buy two!  If I publish another, buy that …

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The ten best things about Christmas

Best things about Xmas

“The ten best things about Christmas” is entirely subjective; everyone has their own, unique, perception of an event.  Even if you took a poll, the results would depend on who and how many participated and, anyway, ‘best’ is not something that can be determined by a majority vote.  All that said, it is a good …

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A bit about port wine

Port wine, vintage port

I’m partial to a drop of port and normally keep a bottle of late bottled vintage in the cupboard. Although port wine is, of course, enjoyed all over the world, there is something quintessentially British about it, a product forged through trade and a long friendship with Portugal. It seemed to me that an article …

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The custom and origins of Christmas crackers

Christmas cracker, Christmas traditions

We take traditions for granted but, when you think about it, some of them are pretty weird.  Amongst the more bizarre British Christmas customs are Christmas crackers.  I refer, not to dry biscuits eaten with cheese and pâté, but to short tubes of cardboard covered with coloured paper, twisted at both ends, each typically containing …

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A bit about Christmas cards

Christmas card, peace on earth

It is always a good idea to get into a business that makes money on Christmas Day; and it could be argued that Christmas cards fall into that category.  You would think that sending cards, like letters, is a custom in decline.  Not according to the Greeting Card Association, who once told me that the …

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On Hallowe’en

Origins of Halloween

The local supermarket is pretending to be the props department for “Night of the Living Dead”.  There are plastic skulls, axes, hairy hands, spiders, broomsticks, masks more gruesome than many of the weekend shoppers in the Trafford Centre – and even life-size ravens with glowing red eyes.  Also, a plastic fish skeleton – the relevance …

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